Born Lawrence Miles in London, England on April 29, 1911, his interests in the area of spiritual investigation and the Pagan way of life began at an unusually early age. During his childhood, he had a number of unique experiences which began the course of his inner development and later led to his spiritual attainment and recognition by the public.
As a young man, Shri Mahendranath met and exchanged ideas with the advanced thinker and mystic, Aleister Crowley. Personal experiences and the advice of Mr. Crowley suggested that he might gain valuable insight by the deeper study of meditation and the I Ching oracle with Indian and other Asian Masters.
After some years, Lawrence Miles arrived in India. In 1953 he was given initiation as a sannyasin into the Adi-Nath Sampradaya by Shri Sadguru Lokanath and given the initiation name Mahendranath. In 1963 he was given Tantric initiation by Shri Pagala Baba of Ranchi into the Uttara Kaula sect of Northern Tantrics and became his successor.
During his life as a sannyasin, Shri Mahendranath traveled to Ceylon, Thailand, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia. He also received initiations as a Bhutanese Lama and was regarded as a meditation master in Soto Zen, Taoism, and held initiations in both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
He founded the International Nath Order (originally Western Nath Order) to present and promote his own synthesis of the tantric teachings of both the Adinath and Uttara Kaula lines as a spiritual path for the western householder. Initiates of the International Nath Order are known as Naths or Devis.
Shri Gurudev Mahendranath left his body and entered mahasamadhi on August 30, 1991. His last residence was his hermitage, Shambhala Tapovan near the Vatrak river in Mehmadabad, Gujarat, India. He was the last guru of both the Adinath and Uttara Kaula lineages which became defunct with his passing.
Shri Mahendranath wrote numerous articles and essays on tantra and the spiritual life, including the Twilight Yoga Trilogy, the Levogyrate Tantra, and The Londinium Temple Strain, subsequently collected under the title The Scrolls of Mahendranath. These works present the essentials of spiritual life and the tantric path in a humorous, non-dogmatic and non-sectarian manner.
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